By LINDSAY SHAFFER
This weekend a Fostoria man will take his next step to becoming a priest for the Diocese of Toledo.
Kyle Gase is one of three men who will be ordained by Bishop Daniel Thomas to the Order of Deacon. The other men are Scott Perry, of Tiffin, and Andrew Wellman, of Delphos.
The Transitional Diaconate Ordination Mass will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday at Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral, located at 2535 Collingwood Blvd., Toledo. All are invited to attend.
This is a day that has been a long time coming for Gase.
“I did four years of undergrad and I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy,” Gase said. “The bishop sent me to Mount St. Mary’s Seminary where I spent the last three years. I also did an internship at Most Blessed Sacrament Parish in Toledo.”
After this weekend’s ceremony he will have another year of seminary before he is ordained as a priest next spring.
“God willing,” he said.
Saturday’s ceremony will be a big step into his future career. He will make his vows of obedience, celibacy and prayer. These are similar to the vows he will later take to become a priest.
“It’s really exciting and a lot of people realize this is the moment you make a significant decision in your life being ordained into the priesthood,” said Father Todd Dominique, pastor of St. Wendelin Parish. “The promises he will be making will be similar to priesthood.”
Dominique will play an important role in Saturday’s events. Gase has chosen him as one of the two priests who will assist him in the ceremony.
Gase says he chose Dominique because of their connection.
“Partly because he is from St. Wendelin, but he and I have become friends,” Gase said. “He has been very supportive of me. He was kind of a natural pick.”
After Gase makes his vows he will kneel before the bishop, who will say a prayer of ordination over Gase, Perry and Wellman.
Dominique and Monsignor Michael Billian, who Gase served under, will pray over him and give him his deacon stole.
“I am there to pray for him and I am a vestor,” Dominique said. “Kyle will receive the vestment of the dalmatic. He will receive the stole. It is my honor to vest him. I was very honored that he asked me to do this.”
After the ceremony, Gase will be a deacon. As a deacon he will be able to perform certain duties.
“I’ll be able to preach at Masses, I’ll be able to baptize babies, Witness marriages and preside over funerals,” Gase said. “But mostly I will be caring for the poor and bringing God’s word to those who haven’t heard it before.”
Gase’s first preaching opportunity will come very soon.
“Not only is he going to be ordained, he will be preaching,” Dominique said. “He will be preaching all Masses on Sunday, so (parishioners) can see him in his new ministry role.”
Gase will spend the rest of the summer at Most Blessed Sacrament Parish and will go back to seminary in the fall.
“I will be preaching on the weekends in the fall,” he said. “Classes will cover how to celebrate Mass, how to hear confessions, basically the nuts and bolts of what priests do. The mechanics of how you do this and so on.”
Where he goes after that is up to the bishop.
“It’s part of the obedience vow we take,” he said. “The parishes we go to are all assigned by the bishop.”
One thing both Dominique and Gase agree on is that this is an exciting time.
“It is exciting and I think the parish has nurtured so many vocations over the years,” Dominique said. “It really is a credit to Kyle’s family and the community here. Of course, Kyle has something to do with that, too.”
“It’s a very exciting journey,” Gase said. “It’s certainly not something everyone does. I’m excited to give my life over to God in a very real and new way. I’m just happy to be here.”